At its annual meeting in Grand Rapids late last month, Minnesota Deer Hunters Association members voted to support a number of critical legislative initiatives intended to help protect Minnesota’s wild deer herd from chronic wasting disease (CWD).
Craig Engwall, MDHA executive director, said the organization’s members believe CWD is the biggest threat to wild deer in Minnesota and across North America.
“MDHA, as Minnesota’s leading deer organization, will do everything it can to protect Minnesota’s deer and deer hunting tradition," he said in a news release.
MDHA is calling on Gov. Tim Walz and the Minnesota Legislature to agree to support and implement a number of key initiatives this year to fight CWD, including:
• Requiring double fencing on all captive cervid farms
• Mandatory depopulation of all cervids on farms with a CWD-positive test
• Moratorium on any new cervid farms and a voluntary buyout of existing cervid farms
• Prohibition of interstate movement of both captive and wild cervids
• Prohibition of interstate movement of any captive cervid byproducts including blood and semen
• Elimination of antler point restrictions statewide
• Dedication of an additional 50 cents of current deer license fees to wild deer health, making the total from each deer license $1.00
“With the discovery of a single CWD-positive wild deer within a half-mile of a CWD-infected captive cervid farm in Crow Wing County, as well as the 40-plus wild deer testing CWD-positive in southeast Minnesota, it is imperative that Minnesota act now to protect its wild deer herd,” Engwall said. “CWD threatens not only Minnesota’s deer and deer hunting tradition, it threatens the nearly $1 billion economic impact that deer hunting contributes to Minnesota.”
Sarah Strommen, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, addressed MDHA membership at the annual meeting and provided an update on DNR’s CWD response plan in Crow Wing County and southeast Minnesota as well as the governor’s budget proposal to provide $4.57 million to fight CWD.
Engwall said deer hunters were pleased with the actions DNR has taken to address CWD and the governor’s budget proposal.
He added: “We urge DNR, the governor and the Legislature to work together to vigorously pursue these measures.”Source: Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.